short takes

Sensory Sensitivities

Thanks to several generous funders, Hartford Stage offered one of Connecticut’s very first sensory-friendly performances during A Christmas CarolA Ghost Story of Christmas. These performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to families of children with autism or other disabilities which create sensory sensitivities.

United Technologies is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for A Christmas Carol.  Additional funding to specifically support the sensory-friendly performance is being provided by a Hartford Foundation for Public Giving grant – as recommended by The Right Track Fund, as well as a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.  Hartford Stage also extends special thanks to Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative for serving as an advisor (

Acting Out

Help your children beat the winter blues with Youth Classes at Hartford Stage!  With a wide variety of fun, high-energy classes for beginner students, seasoned performers, and everyone in between, there’s bound to be something to spark your child’s imagination.  New for Winter 2015, students can explore the world of playwriting with Acting Out: From Page to Stage.  Does your child keep the family in stitches?  Help him focus his comic energy through performance in Acting Out: Comedy or Yes, And! Improv.  And teenage students can enhance their audition technique by taking a nuanced look at character work in Monologue Building.  For a detailed look at these courses and more, visit

The Big Ticket

Hartford Stage honored longtime friend Belle Ribicoff November 10 with the inaugural Cornerstone Award for her outstanding contributions to Hartford Stage. The artistic program in the theatre featured selections from some of Belle’s favorite theatre pieces along with remarks from: Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director; Michael Stotts, Managing Director; Christina B. Ripple, Past President of the Board of Directors; Jill Adams, President of the Board of Directors; and Walter Harrison, President of the University of Hartford.

Actively involved in the early years of the Stage, Belle’s enthusiasm for the theatre has never flagged. Her gifts to the theatre are innumerable and immeasurable; her loyalty and dedication, unwavering.

Performers included Hartt School faculty members (thank you especially to Robert Hannon Davis, Johanna Morrison and Alan Rust) and students, along with Broadway performers Kate Baldwin, Kate Forbes and Hallie Foote.

The evening began in the lower lobby with food stations hosted by Billy Grant Catering, Bin 228, Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, Nix’s Hartford and Tallulah’s Catering with a signature cocktail, The Orchid, created by Firebox. A post-performance reception in the upper lobby featured desserts by the Kitchen at Billings Forge, Max Restaurant Group and Esther Pryor, a Governing Director at Hartford Stage.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Belle Ribikoff, Nancy Malloy Chrissy Ripple, Susan Clemow, Lynda Mecker, and Jill Adams. David Gursky and Kate Baldwin Darko Tresnjak, Belle Ribikoff, Jill Adams and Mike Stotts